Tag Archives: art dolls

Sculptures in Motion

I strive to capture movement in many of my sculptures. I’ve also managed to make a few of them move on their own. Or, at least they appear to be in motion.

I’ve recently written about the fact that transitioning work to online venues requires more than one or two good images. I’ve started providing multiple angle views, scale views, and images of work “in use.” Now, I’ve decided to have a bit of fun with stop motion animations. The hope is that using these videos on my social media can help capture a few more looks during the holidays. Having work that resembles characters from classic holiday specials helps in their creation. They are also just plain entertaining and fun, though they are rather time consuming to produce.

Puffin Pyramid

I’ll start here with the most recent. I just created this playful video of some of my puffin ornaments forming a pyramid. My puffin and polar bear ornaments will be available on my Etsy shop, the HGA online shop, and at HGA. I create them several at a time following my own original design. However, they are each truly an individual handcrafted item, all just a little bit different. This allows them to be a small, unique, and very gift-able piece of original art.

A Winter Ride in Motion

The first stop motion I produced a couple of weeks ago is a silent short for my piece titled Winter Ride. This anthropomorphic sculpture is already available on my Etsy shop, and may be on view in-person at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts soon. Winter Ride can be that future holiday heirloom, but I certainly hope whomever takes it home would want to display it year round.

Winter Ride in motion

The complete sculpture assemblage is 12 inches long, 6 inches high, and 4 inches deep. Momma bear is needle felted wool over a wire and quilt batting frame. Baby bear is needle felted wool over quilt batting form. The miniature sleigh and harness I constructed from wood craft sticks, copper coated flat wire, leather, metal brad fasteners, and jewelry findings. Both bears have hand stitched iridescent glass bead eyes.

Winter Ride anthropomorphic needle felted art doll sculpture
Winter Ride

I will be sharing both videos on various platforms over the next two months. I hope that you enjoy them, and take the time to follow the links to their sales pages.

In need of an Inked Art Doll?

An Art Doll With a Bit of Ink

This latest anthropomorphic art doll is a bit off the beaten path. Inked is a needle felted and “tattooed” squid figure sculpture. Several types of cephalopods produce ink like substances that they use to deter would be predators. Playing with idea of being tattooed as “being inked,” my squid creation sports a jellyfish tattoo. The inked connection is reinforced by the needle felting process itself. Wool fibers are felted together by pushing them with a felting needle as ink is pushed with a needle in tattooing.

"Inked" - anthropomorphic needle felted squid art doll sculpture with tattoo.
Inked

Inked is not the only cephalopod in my recent body of work. I created the piece ‘Multitasking”, a tea serving octopus, for my gallery feature show. I wrote about him here earlier this year

Construction of a Squid Art Doll

The under structure of this sculpture is somewhat more involved than most, as you might imagine. Quite a bit of wire twisting was needed to form the base of the head, eight arms, and two tentacles. Once that somewhat unwieldy structure was complete, I felted quilt batting over the wire to provide the more sculpted form. Over this batting form I then felt the wool “skin” of the creature. I set large glass gems for the reflective eyes, and felted the socket surrounds of each.

Inked’s distinctive jellyfish and bubbles tattoo was needle felted in place on the the figure’s tube and head.

Not Your Typical Doll

detail of Inked's needle felted tattoo
detail of Inked’s tattoo

Inked is certainly not your typical art doll sculpture. It is neither pretty, nor cute in the usual sense. I do find it both intriguing and visually interesting, and hope that others do too. Playing with ideas and forms that others might not helps to keep work fresh, fun, and surprising. I have added Inked to my Etsy store so someone else intrigued by its distinctive nature can take it home.

face of Moose Call, anthropomorphic moose art doll sculpture

Moose Call to Etsy

Moose Call is my newest anthropomorphic art doll sculpture, and he seems an appropriate piece to announce the opening of my new Etsy shop.

Moose Call anthropomorphic moose art doll figure sculpture
Moose Call

I have gone back and forth on opening an Etsy. As you know, you can inquire about my pieces available for purchase here. Additionally, I have pieces listed on the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts shop pages.

Driving traffic to stand alone websites mine or HGA is multifaceted. It is easier and more effective to let those whose job it is take charge. So, I made the decision to let the web marketing pros on Etsy take the wheel in that area. That doesn’t mean that I don’t still have to do as much posting and sharing, or even perhaps more. But, it does mean that the audience is already gathered in one place.

Having work available both online, and in the physical gallery, takes a bit more inventory finesse. I am learning as I go. Taking more and more varied images of each piece. Weighing and measuring each before listing them for postage calculations. Also, making sure that inventories in the virtual world and physical gallery don’t intersect. Not sure, but it may be possible that this last one could cause some cross dimensional rift to form. As a result I have only a few pieces up so far. I will be working to round out the inventory soon.

The Moose Himself

Moose Call sits about about 14 inches tall on his “stump” base. He is needle felted wool over a wire and quilt batting frame. I used dark slightly reflective beads for his eyes that provide a nice extra sparkle. He is dressed for a brisk day in the woods with his wool vest, scarf, and cloven mittens and boots.

face of Moose Call, anthropomorphic moose art doll sculpture
Moose Call close up

My Etsy Shop is named LWSculpted Shop, and you can purchase Moose Call there right now!

If you do take the time to visit my new Etsy shop, please give us a “Favorite ❤️.”

Thanks.

Hedgehog Folk and Giving Back

I was about to start musing about 2020 already being half over, but let’s start with an introduction instead. One gets the feeling that right about now we need some poignant, soon to be classic, protest songs. Ironically, I created a piece titled “Protest Songs” last October. Now, I just finished an anthropomorphic folk singing companion piece I’ve named “Dylan.”

Dylan anthropomorphic hedgehog art doll figure sculpture
Dylan

Dylan is a hedgehog and he stands about 10 inches high. He plays a custom made acoustic guitar, and sports a hat that seems vaguely familiar. He is loosely inspired by Bob Dylan’s look from his 1975 “Rolling Thunder Review” tour. As Dylan often serves as the quintessential model of a folk singer, I chose him as my model too. Who isn’t in need of a little folk singing hedgehog right about now? I’ve added Dylan to my “Available for Purchase” pieces, so you can let me know you need him to live in your home.

Giving Back

The gallery currently has a new online show up that opened last Friday. You can shop this new show, “Surfaces,” and work by all the Hillsborough Gallery artists in our online shop.

Opening later this month will be our special “Giving Back” show. This show will donate a percentage of the proceeds to local first responders. I will have two pieces available in that upcoming show. I will be sure to share the link with you as soon as the show goes live on our website.

Wish on a Breeze needle felted relief on up cycled denim
Wish on a Breeze 9″x6″

The first piece is a twist on some of the little needle felted relief sculpture panels I have created. This panel, titled “Wish on a Breeze” combines techniques I’ve incorporated into my one of a kind handbags. I needle felt, and then stitch secure artwork onto denim recycled from old jeans. This 9″ x 6″ dandelion panel can be hung by the chord stitched into its back, or tabletop displayed on the included easel.

Squiggle Heart needle felted wool on leather chord necklace
Squiggle Heart

I will also have available this needle felted Squiggle Heart pendant. The heart element measures 2″ across, and slides on a leather chord with hand forged hook clasp.

Keep an eye out for the opening of Giving Back.

Wings and a Whisk –

Let’s start with the whisk. Titled Hands Off The Carrot Cake, my anthropomorphic rabbit chief appears to mean business. This art doll sculpture appears cute and fluffy, but also not afraid to use his whisk if needed. This needle-felted figure sculpture stands about 15 inches high, and is ready to oversee things going on in the kitchen.

Hands Off The Carrot Cake - anthropomorphic needle-felted rabbit chief sculpture
Hands Off The Carrot Cake 15″x8″x 8″

Hands Off The Carrot Cake features a custom chef’s hat, apron, and hand formed copper wire whisk. This piece recalls an earlier singing chief I created in paper mâché and paperclay, and two early terra cotta figures I made in school.

About the Wings

Titled Stretching Her Wings, this piece is about a foot tall and stands on four of her delicate butterfly legs. She is using her top two legs to help get the last bit of stretch in her new wings. We can only imagine that she is happy to have emerged from her metamorphic phase.

Stretching Her Wings - anthropomorphic butterfly needle-felted sculpture
Stretching Her Wings 11″x 13″x7″

I’m not sure if I will just make these two new pieces available online, or if one or both will take a trip to the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts. I’m still figuring out the the ins and outs of maintaining an online inventory. For now, both are available on my Available for Purchase page.

Going on at the Gallery

Due to Covid-19, the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts is currently open on Saturday afternoon from noon to 4, or by private appointment. I will update you as we add more open hours to the schedule. You can see an ever growing and changing collection of art from all the HGA member artist in our online Art Shop.

Anthropomorphic Art Dolls Moving On?

…But they’re not gone!

This week is the last Friday of the month. A new featured artist show, Construction, is going live online for HGA. But, Three Narratives isn’t really going anywhere. My anthropomorphic art dolls will remain available both within the gallery featured sales pages, and here on my Available for Purchase page.

Multitasking anthropomorphic art doll
Multitasking 12″x7″x12″

At the Gallery

Those same anthropomorphic art dolls are now at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts awaiting our controlled reopening. As you can imagine, a space where patrons linger, converse, and touch objects is rife with contact concerns. The HGA owner artists are carefully considering all the angles we can think of to safely start to welcome visitors back. The current plan is to offer private appointments one weekday, and open a few hours with precautions on Saturdays. Details on both options are still being finalized. I will share all that information with you here, as soon as I can.

High Fashion anthropomorphic art doll
High Fashion 7″x18″x10″

Not Just Anthropomorphic Art Dolls.

Even with the move towards careful reopening, we are building and refining HGA’s online sales offerings. As you might imagine, something that required building on the fly has experienced a hiccup or two. The experience of the past few months has taught us that we need to develop this side of our gallery further. Keep checking in with me here. I will continue to share new developments. In the mean time, take a second look at our special Art Under $100 show. This show features pieces donated by the HGA member artists, and all proceeds go to maintaining the gallery.

Blue Butterfly Bag
Blue Butterfly bag 8″x11″x1/2″
Flower Necklace -purple and turquoise needle felted flowers on leather chord
Flower Necklace

Look at the Screen

Artwork looks much different through a computer screen. Some views are actually enhanced by an image. I see the details of the Mona Lisa much better in high resolution scans than when I looked through glass from the midst of a pack of tourists. I’m sure the experience would be very different if I were able to view the masterpiece face-to-face. In the real world, however, the computer screen may be one’s best option.

My Sculpture on the Screen

  • High Fashion anthropomorphic art doll
  • Climate Report anthropomorphic art doll
  • Emu Incognito anthropomorphic art doll
  • Multitasking anthropomorphic art doll
  • Literary Cat anthropomorphic art doll
  • Too En Pointe? anthropomorphic art doll
  • Stroll anthropomorphic art doll
  • Upstart Crow anthropomorphic art doll
  • Happiness Isn't anthropomorphic art doll
  • Out of Water anthropomorphic art doll
  • Pierre anthropomorphic art doll
  • Secrets Locked anthropomorphic art doll

My much humbler artwork is definitely viewed best up close and in person. Sculptures of relatively compact scale need the viewer to move in close, and see all around. Needle felted wool adds a textural warmth to the surface of my pieces that does not translate as well in photographs. I could provide multiple views of each sculpture, but even those run up to the barrier created by the two-dimensional screen.

Experiencing an art show from the side of the artist has also been altered by the computer screen. I posted here presenting a few pieces each time, and then shared each post on social media. Then, I sat back and waited for blog comments, or likes and shares. Even though I had done these things in the past for my shows, now they are the show. A conversation with someone at the opening about what made one piece their favorite is replaced with a “thumbs-up” emoji. Seems that the show has been distanced in both space and in time.

On The Horizon

I am waiting on some direct links to share with you for other things we are working on for the gallery. HGA’s website will soon have a couple of additional pieces for sale by each of our member artists on the HGA website. The Square market where we have virtually shared our featured artist shows (like my current Three Narratives) will also feature a special new offering. Each of our HGA member artists donated a piece priced $100 or less with all proceeds going to the maintenance of the gallery. Shipping is included for all of these wonderful works. This up-cycled denim bag with needle felted embellishments is my donation.

Blue Butterfly bag
Blue Butterfly bag – 8″x11″x1/2″

I will share links to these two new places for you to access our art as soon as they are available.

Literary Cat anthropomorphic art doll

A Bard Bird, A Book Cat, and Bags.

Literature often serves as a fertile idea source. Today’s sculptures do not pull from specific stories, but they do have book related themes.

Crow by the Book

My elizabethan crow is titled Upstart. A playwright contemporary of Shakespeare named, Robert Greene, referred to The Bard as an “upstart crow”. Greene was university educated and thought that actors like Shakespeare should stick to delivering lines, not writing them. The joke is now on mister Greene, as most of us only encounter his name when looking up the origin of the phrase. I first read an explanation on the bag of a bookstore with that name, and there is also a British sit-com by the same title.

Upstart Crow anthropomorphic art doll
Upstart

My “Upstart” is apparently delivering some grand soliloquy. His feathered cap, and white ruffed collar seemed the only elements needed to place him in time and context. Getting his bird form into a human posture and proportion was key with this piece. He commands much more attention than his 12 inch frame would normally attract.

Literary Cat and Her Book

Literary Cat anthropomorphic art doll
Literary Cat

I do admit to having favorites among my creations, and the needle felted cat sculpture I titled Literary Cat is one of them. The inquisitive feline appears ready to tell you something she just read in her book. With her wire rimmed spectacles and scarf she is ready to get comfortable and curl up in the corner of a bookstore or library. This calico is right at home in a show titled “Three Narratives.”

Something Different?

I am going to take a little detour in introducing my anthropomorphic friends, to share a couple of additions to my “Available for Purchase” page. Last year I added two sculptural felted purses to my feature show, and they were well received. They each quickly found their way to good homes as functional pieces of art. This year, I went a slightly different route. I’ve up-cycled some old jeans into bags that I then embellished with needle felted sculptural elements.

Both bags are fully lined, and have jean button closures. The Poppy Field bag has an additional interior pocket. The Slow Daisies bag has an adjustable handle that allows it to be used as a shoulder or crossbody. Both are one-of-a-kind originals. Size and price details can be found on the “Available for Purchase” page.

Fashionable Anthropomorphic Climate

High Fashion Girrafe

In my last post, I detailed how this newest body of anthropomorphic figures grew out of the creation of a single white rabbit. This was an additional nod to Alice in Wonderland, an inspiration I’ve returned to a number of times. The first idea that appeared in my sketchbook was the slightly absurd image of a giraffe wearing two pairs of cloven hoof pumps.

High Fashion anthropomorphic art doll
High Fashion

Dressing a Giraffe

I have to say that giraffe morphology is quite unique. I poured over reference images online, and then worked and reworked her form. There is a balance between realistic and illustration that I’m trying to strike. I don’t want my animal figures to look like stuffed animal toys, but I also don’t desire them to be hyperrealistic either.

I also find a balance is needed in imbuing each with their anthropomorphic elements of human attire. This seems driven by each individual piece. High Fashion really only needed a few items to relay her idea. Additionally, I didn’t want to detract from the bold body conscious animal print jumpsuit she’s modeling. Especially, when it took what seemed like a lifetime to form and add each one of her brown patches and spots. Her shoes were also a labour of love to attain the oxymoronic effect of high end pumps made for the foot of a giraffe.

What Else Would an Anthropomorphic Polar Bear Do?

Nell Chandler, Michele Yellin and I decided on the title Three Narratives for our feature show. It seems appropriate for my figures to not only appear pulled from a story, but perhaps have their own tales. Last winter I created a number of polar bear ornaments for the holiday season at the gallery. This larger version, Climate Report, appears to have quite a bit more to say than his diminutive brethren. If a polar bear were a reporter, one can imagine that the news would revolve around the elements of everyday polar bear life. Any changes and impacts to that life would be noteworthy. My intrepid reporter is busy doing just that work. He is stylized more like he stepped out of a black and white film than a children’s book. After all, he is dealing with non-fiction issues.

Climate Report anthropomorphic art doll
Climate Report

Pieces, Prices and Pics

I’ll share one or two more of these new anthropomorphic pieces in a few days. I’m working on a few last items, and getting things ready for the launch of the online gallery on the HGA page. I will share it all here with you here as soon as it’s ready.

Alice is Late white rabbit figure sculpture

A Friend for Alice and Some Buzz

And a Trip Back to Wonderland…

I think that to date I have created four different interpretations of Alice from her adventures in Wonderland. One of my newest sculptures, “Alice is Late”, is my first attempt at capturing her companion the white rabbit. One of the stars of my recent feature show, he is now catching glances and keeping time for passersby in the gallery front window.

Alice is Late white rabbit figure sculpture
Alice is Late

Take a look around

Several of my needle felted creations from “April Showers, Art Flowers” have already made their way to new homes. A few, like “Alice is Late” can still be seen at The Hillsborough Gallery of Arts, but you will have to stroll around the gallery a bit to find them.

Alice and Some Buzz

Another of my personal favorites from my recent feature show is “Honey Dance”. Honey Dance is a queen bee figure that hangs from the ceiling. She holds a bit of honeycomb and sports a small crystal tiara. She is one of those playful sculptures that both evoke a smile and provide a sunny pop of color.

Honey Dance hanging art doll sculpture
Honey Dance

Some Other Things to Look For

I also have a fair number of new needle felted jewelry items available in my glass tower at HGA. I always like to create jewelry that reflects what is going on in my sculptures. You will find pieces from simple felted hearts on leather chords, to some more complex and colorful flower forms with hand forged closures. I find these pieces of jewelry unique and playful, and quite fun to create.

I did remove the remaining needle felted hanging ornaments that I had returned to the gallery for my show. Never fear, I will return them to the gallery in the fall with plenty of time for gift giving.